The First Sunday of Advent

Psalm 122, Isaiah 32:1–20, Ezekiel 37:26–28 (read online ⧉)

There was a (awful) Superman movie in the ’80s called the Quest for . In it, Superman takes care of the bad guy (of course) and takes care of (i.e., eliminates) all the nuclear weapons (which the US and USSR were rapidly building up at the time). The superhero movie genre hadn’t broken out, yet. In the movie, there was a kernel of this American (and some would say Christian) optimism that if we get rid of all the weapons, there would be no war or strife.

That, sadly, is not demonstrated by humanity over the years. Humanity doesn’t seem to do well in peace. Despite the and 24-hour news, we currently live in a time when fewer people are in wars than ever before, and that even includes terrorism. However, almost as if there is a perverse understanding that this couldn’t possibly be the case, we are deluged with stories about bloody conflict after bloody conflict.

David’s psalm starts with a focus on rejoicing on praising God. David continues on with the focus on praying for peace within walls and within brothers and friends. We all want peace at home, whether it be in our country, state, city, neighborhood, or behind the doors of our homes. While we all seem to understand this almost unachievable peace, we still pursue it.

God’s peace has a strong tendency to overthrow the status quo and . Isaiah calls nobles fools and important people scoundrels. Isaiah notes that the will pour out, and our perspectives will . and justice will spread, and peace will be its fruit.

The Holy Spirit as the underlying producer of peace makes sense with Ezekiel, as God declares a new of peace. God will establish. God will multiply it. God’s new covenant is by God’s power, not by ours.

1) What is the difference between God’s peace versus mankind’s peace?

2) Why is God needed for true peace?

3) What is one thing you can do to encourage true peace in and for ?